We talked about these yesterday, in one of the threads, and I had plans for one today. Mostly because....
Four Years Ago Today: I started writing for the site. I can't believe it has been 4 years. Well, in some ways I think no way can it be 4 years and in other ways, I can hardly remember not being on the site. I've told the story before, but my first gamethread, we were visited by a group of people from Lookout Landing. We had 441 comments in the thread, likely the record high for the season. It was fun, for the most part, and tiring. After the game I got an note from the fellow that oversees the baseball sites for SB Nation, saying 'we do a recap after the games'. I said 'I haven't seen a recap on the site before, I'm tired'. He said 'Do a recap'. I did one, it wasn't good.
The next day I got a note saying 'you should do a morning post'. I did a morning post, with a poll. I did polls in every post back then. A few days later I got another note saying 'it is a good idea to do an afternoon post. I complained, but after a bit, I started doing afternoon posts. I went from writing very little to doing four posts a day in a short period of time, and getting almost no comments.
I'll admit I didn't figure to do it for long, but Hugo came back and we started getting more readers and, well, it became more run. I've made many good friends because of Bluebird Banter, and I have more fun with it than anything else I do. I'm very lucky to have it in my life.
Four years later and we are still growing. We had our best month ever in June and I'm hoping that July will be better than that.
Three Years Ago: We had a 'First Half Report Card' for our pitchers. Surprise, Roy Halladay had he best mark.
Two Years Ago: We beat the Yankees. I was thrilled. We came off a 5 game losing streak, we had been swept by the Indians. Things weren't good, but we beat the Yankees, in extra innings. It made life worth living again. This line stands out for me:
Yankees intentionally walk Fred Lewis
Who would intentionally walk Fred Lewis. It didn't help, Alex Gonzalez singled in the winning run. And we got 4 more after that.
Also two years ago, Shawn Marcum hit the DL and Jarrett Hoffpauir was sent to the minors. Marc Rzepczynski was called up. Edwin Encarnacion was called up too, after a bit more than a week in Vegas. I really didn't figure we'd see him again.
One Year Ago: Jose Bautista hit a home run off Roy Halladay. And something else happened, what was it, oh yeah. Jon Rauch tried to kill an umpire. Well, not really kill, but he really wanted to make his point with Alfonso Marquez:
The Jays had disagreements with plate umpire Alfonso Marquez' strike zone all day long. Bautista, Hill, JP and others didn't enjoy some strike calls. JP also talked to Alfonso a few times when he was catching. It was pretty clear that Doc was getting strike calls that our pitchers weren't getting.
It came to a head in the 9th with Jon Rauch pitching. Rauch threw two pitches to Shane Victorino that he felt were good enough to be strike 3 (one that was clearly a strike), then had gave up a single to left that Chase Utley just beat the tag at the plate on. Rauch went off in Alfonso's face and was quickly ejected. John Farrell tried his best to keep Rauch away from Marquez but he give up 6 inches and 80 pounds on the guy.
Then Farrell continued the argument and got ejected. That's the maddest I've seen Farrell, but what really got me was Farrell was arguing from a bit of a distance and Marquez got into his face. There is no way a umpire should be getting in the face of a coach or player. The players are allowed to be upset, an umpire should be above getting upset.
Also a year ago, Jesse wrote a great piece asking Should WAR Be Based on xFIP?
Here is to the start of the next four years. I hope to get a playoff run or two to write about before the next four years are over.